Scorecard: FCT Minister lists achievements
Hudu Yakubu, Abuja
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Muhammad Bello, on Monday, listed the achievements and Infrastructure developments in Abuja.
The Minister who was featured at the 20th edition of President Buhari’s administration Scorecard Series, organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, explained that the event provided an opportunity to list the wide array of achievements and transformations that Buhari’s administration recorded in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“When we came in on board in 2015, my team and I realized that the capital city Abuja, was basically a work in progress with so many projects initiated but no completed and all these projects were critical, particularly taking into account the rate at which the city was growing demographically.
“Because over time it changes from being an administrative centre and city to a commercial and economic hug and gradually now it is also transforming itself into a tourism and cultural destination.
“So, we realized that if we do not complete all the ongoing projects we met on ground then at one point the city will just become Lagos because all the reasons why the Federal Government move the Federal Capital City from Lagos to Abuja would have been come to nothing.
“So, what we have done over the last seven and half years or so is basically to try to develop the territory in all ramifications. In terms of infrastructure and all other services that normally is expected in a state such as education, health, agriculture, social services and security, roads, bridges, rail line, water system, electricity and power generation.”
The Minister said that the FCT Administration under his leadership had completed many critical infrastructure projects which by any standard could compare with any kind in the world.
He called on the FCT residents to jealousy guard Abuja, protect its infrastructure, cleanliness, the environment and above all try to make it a truly beautiful green city where everybody would feel happy to raise their families and hopefully retire.
Bello added that some of the projects like bridges have linked several districts and eased traffic movement within the city centre, saying that as an administration we need to project what we have.
“All these are parts of the scorecard of President Buhari’s administration which unfortunately sometimes those of us who live in Abuja do not notice but when people come from West African countries and I see a lot of them especially, visiting Heads of States they whisper to me that Abuja is beautiful and is the Paris of West Africa.
“Part of what we do as an administration in terms of infrastructure is developing road networks as well as public buildings. When we came on board we realized that there was a commitment by the previous government to rebuild the United Nations building in Nigeria which was bombed by terrorists.
“We met President Buhari and told him that there was a commitment that Nigeria made to the United Nations family to complete the UN building in Nigeria and Buhari provided the needs funds and we work with the contractor, restored the building, completed it to what it is today.
“And I can tell you that the leadership of the United Nations personally told me that out of New York, the UN doesn’t have any other building that can match the one in Abuja. This is something that most people don’t know about President Buhari.
“Once you meet him for a project that is going to benefits people and is going to project Nigeria as a country he will just approve it and if there are no funds he will look at the Minister of Finance in such a way that he does during the Federal Executive Council and say to the minister get the money.”
Bello said that over the past seven and half years the capacity of all the institutions of the FCT Administration have been enhanced greatly in terms of training, empowerment and above all allowing the institutions to operate as they were meant to function.
Abuja Light Rail
On the Abuja Light Rail, the Minister said; “Another important milestone achievements of President Buhari’s administration is the infrastructure development of the Abuja Light Rail. When we can in 2015, about 52 per cent of the projects was done and we pushed it to 100 per cent.
“And many of you will want to wonder why is the Abuja Light Rail is not working, it is not working now because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had to stop the operation because as you know the light train system basically is a mass movement, so if you don’t have much siting capacity many people will stand up and when you stand up you face each other.
“So, it was obviously very difficult to maintain social distancing but we are done with that all the carriages are here and by the grace of God before we leaves it will resume.”
The minister disclosed that about 12 stations have been completed and about five of them the roads are under construction.
“These are works we do in the satellite town because the structure of the FCT is that we have developments in the Urban area that is the Federal Capital City as well as development in the satellite towns.
“But the standards we maintain for infrastructure for the Federal Capital City itself is the same that we maintain in the satellite towns no difference whatsoever, this is to encourage residents to stay in the satellite towns.”